Australia is one of those places that I have been aiming to visit for years. I’m still ironing out my travel plans in order to make this goal happen thought; but that aside, when Laura contacted me about how she wanted to talk about the country here on the blog, I immediately said yes!
After all, the least that I can do for now is to learn more about this amazing destination that is famed for its natural and cityscapes — and what better way than to hear it from a local, right?
BIO & INTRO
My name is Laura Fairbourn and I am an Australian traveller, volunteer, blogger and writer who loves to explore the world.
I love to travel slowly, with a focus on responsible tourism, so that I can immerse myself in the communities I visit. I am currently living in Guatemala City, struggling to learn Spanish, and volunteering at a rescue shelter for victims of sexual violence and trafficking. In addition to freelance writing, I manage Grassroots Nomad, a blog with a focus on responsible tourism and volunteering.
My home country. Known for its picture perfect beaches, Croc Dundee and Kylie Minogue, Australia has become the dream travel destination for adventurous spirits around the world.
But is there more to Australia than beaches and beers? Here are the top 10 things that you should know about Australia before you pack your swimmers and head to the Outback!
10 Things Foreigners Should Know About Australia
#1: Not all Australian animals are deadly
Yes, we might have some of the most deadly animals in the world but your chance of seeing most of these animals is very slim. Great White Sharks, for example, have a very bad reputation but they are responsible for on average one death per year. More people die each year from cats!
#2: …But some animals are
From sharks to snakes, and koalas to kangaroos, Australia has it all. But what visitors might not know is that some of our Aussie icons can really pack a punch! There are on average 30 animal related deaths each year in Australia, with the kangaroo as the fourth most deadly.
They aren’t called boxing kangaroos by mistake!
#3: We speak English… but in our own way
Australians have a shorter way to say everything and we love nicknames. Once you land in Australia. you will hear sentences like: ‘Howyagaan mate? I’ll just pop past the bottle-o to get some stubbies for the barbie this arvo then we will be sweet as!’
Translation: ‘How are you, my friend? I will go to the liquor store and buy some beers before the barbeque this afternoon and then we will be ready!’
#4: Australia is BIG, really big!
I’ve heard a surprising amount of tourists in Sydney say they are going to drive to Cairns for the weekend. Well, prepare yourself for a long drive, because it takes about 27 hours to drive there and 3 hours to fly. Want to see Perth?
Well that is even further – a 5 hour flight or a leisurely 40 hour drive through the desert. When you are planning your trip, make sure you factor in travel time!
#5: Sydney and Melbourne are a food lover’s paradise
Thanks to our wonderful immigrant culture, Sydney and Melbourne are known for their incredible food choices. By visiting a different suburb each day, you will be able to eat your way around the globe – Italian coffee for breakfast, Thai for lunch, Lebanese for dinner and an Indian mango lassi for dessert.
#6: Some people live underground to avoid the heat
In Coober Pedy, many locals have built homes underground to avoid the scorching daytime temperatures. The town is responsible for most of the world’s gem-quality opals, and many homes have been built in converted mines!
Fancy a game of golf? To avoid the heat, locals play at night on a course completely free of grass. Instead they take a bit of turf with them to tee off with their glow in the dark golf ball.
#7: Aboriginal history is rich and long
Aboriginal Australians are the longest continuously living culture on the planet dating back between 40,000 and 60,000 years. Aboriginal spirituality, Dreaming, is linked to the land and tells stories of the creation process and the spirits of ancient ancestors.
#8: You can study by air!
Some kids live in communities that are so remote that it is impossible for them to attend a conventional school. Instead students are taught by high frequency radios and meet up once a year for a sports carnival.
#9: Australians love the great outdoors
Whether it is hiking, swimming, playing sport or just hanging out at the beach, Australian’s love to get outside to enjoy ourselves. And with scenery as spectacular as the Kimberleys, the Great Barrier Reef, Kangaroo Island and pretty much any beach along our 26,000km coastline, it isn’t hard to see why!
#10: There is no place like home!
No matter how many places I visit, or how long I stay away, there really is no place like home. You will find Australia to be a welcoming and exciting place to visit filled with laidback locals who are always keen for a barbie (BBQ) and a cider. So maybe it is time to pack your swimmers and sunnies and book your trip!
If you’re from Australia like Laura, do you agree with the 10 points that she wrote about the country? Maybe you have something to add too?
Nevertheless, these facts have surely hyped me up even more about the prospect of visiting Australia! I dearly hope that I make it happen soon.
NOTE: This series will happen monthly so keep an eye out for the next country that I’ll be featuring!
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I am Aileen Adalid. At 21, I quit my corporate job in the Philippines to travel the world. Today, I am a digital nomad (entrepreneur & travel writer) living a sustainable travel lifestyle.
My mission? To show you how it is absolutely possible to create a life of travel, and I will help you achieve that through my detailed travel guides, resources, and tips!
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